Daniel Sturridge has now scored nine times in his past eight League Cup appearances.
Daniel Sturridge struck twice as Liverpool overcame Tottenham to reach the EFL Cup quarter-finals and extend their unbeaten run to 10 matches.
The Reds’ striker was an unused substitute in Saturday’s win over West Brom but needed less than 10 minutes to turn in instinctively from six yards.
Jurgen Klopp made 11 changes from the weekend, one more than Mauricio Pochettino, and it was Liverpool who created more in a scrappy affair.
The impressive Divock Origi laid on two clear chances that Sturridge wasted, but the pair combined again for the England striker to be sent clear and slide his second under Michel Vorm’s body.
Spurs – who started with eight players aged 23 or under – were by no means overawed but struggled in attack until Vincent Janssen slammed home a penalty when substitute Erik Lamela was fouled.
Sturridge curled against the bar with the outside of his left foot late on as Liverpool edged into Wednesday’s draw.
All eyes on the front men
The latter stages at Anfield saw Pochettino on his knees in frustration as Spurs exerted pressure but wasted opportunities.
In truth, had Sturridge taken his chances the game would have been out of their reach much earlier.
Even so, with 21-year-old Origi and 18-year-old Ovie Ejaria playing either side of him, Sturridge stepped up to perhaps make a case for starting against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
His lack of a league strike this season has prompted questions over his contribution but he showed a clear nose for goal to stab in when 20-year-old Serb Marko Grujic scuffed his effort.
Janssen is also without a league goal since his £17m summer move from AZ Alkmaar, prompting some observers to draw parallels with Roberto Soldado’s struggles at White Hart Lane.
He lacks the pace and movement of Sturridge but his speed in grabbing the ball to take the penalty when Lucas upended Lamela showed a hunger to prove a point.
Pochettino has publicly said he will be patient with a 22-year-old finding his way in England. On this showing, Janssen showed enough to give Spurs’ fans hope.
More to follow.
Daniel Sturridge scored early on and had several good chances to add to his tally
Simon Mignolet made one solid low save from Vincent Janssen in the first half.